It can be really difficult to end a relationship with a married man. Although it can take some time, healing is possible.
Ending the Relationship
If you've decided to end a relationship with a married man, you may be feeling a slew of different and possibly uncomfortable emotions. Breakups are hard and take time to work through. Whether you decide to maintain a friendship or not, it's best to give yourself some space from this person so you have a chance to process how you feel and begin to heal. Keep in mind that the emotional intensity that most people feel after a breakup tends to come in a bell curve pattern, meaning your emotions increase in intensity and then will peak and begin to decrease.
Processing Your Emotions
A huge part of healing is addressing how you feel and understanding why you were drawn to a romantic relationship where you were unable to get all of your needs met. Even if the person you were seeing was amazing, he was still unable to fully give himself to you because of his marital status. Even though it can be difficult to confront, it's crucial to examine why you were attracted to this type of person. Think about:
- Past relationships you've been in and if you were drawn to partially or fully unavailable people before
- What your examples of relationships looked like growing up
- If you had exposure to healthy, loving relationships growing up
- If you experienced chaotic, unavailable relationships in your childhood and/or throughout adulthood
It is very common and completely normal to unconsciously seek out partners that embody childhood relationship patterns that you've experienced. The best way to recover from being drawn to these types of unhealthy relationships is to work through the original memories that set this pattern in motion. This way you can work towards finding healthy, loving relationships where you can get all of your needs met.
Releasing Your Emotions
Even though it can feel scary to address the emotional rollercoaster you may be experiencing, doing so can help you recover from the breakup. Find some healthy ways to heal like journaling, talking to trusted loved ones, doing yoga, and utilizing some creative outlets.
Finding a Counselor
If you are experiencing uncomfortable symptoms that feel unbearable, or are not dissipating in intensity, it may be a good idea to speak with a counselor or therapist who can help you navigate this difficult moment. Symptoms may include difficulty sleeping, change in appetite, and mood swings. If you are having suicidal thoughts, tell someone immediately. You can anonymously call a crisis line, or 9-11 for immediate assistance.
Joining a Support Group
Breakup support groups come in many flavors. This means you can find one in your area that specializes in working through breakups with a married partner. This can help you meet others who have gone through a similar experience and may better understand your point of view. These groups are also run by professional counselors who can offer support, guidance, and psycho-education.
Use an App
There are great apps available now that can help you each step of the way through your breakup. You can pick something that focuses on helping you stay calm, embracing mindfulness, or moving through your breakup. Using an app is an inexpensive way to help you stay on track for processing how you feel and connecting to your body, even though it can feel tempting to numb yourself out.
Spend Some Time Alone
Figure out what you want and need out of a relationship. Take what you've learned through this process and use it to inform your future dating experiences. Think about what it would mean to put yourself first and find a partner who wholeheartedly loves you, respects you, and prioritizes your needs.
Practice Self Care
Your body may physically feel achy after a breakup. It may feel good to take a warm bath or shower, get a massage, or get acupuncture. Give yourself time to rest as your emotional processing can take a toll on your body and be sure to prioritize getting high quality sleep.
Take Your Time Healing
Although it can feel gut wrenching to move through this process, know that healing is possible. Spend as much time as you need understanding your emotions and be kind to yourself throughout this difficult moment.